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Technology and Our Spines

Technology usage and posture

Using technology has become a part of our everyday life, but it is also affecting our posture and spine. The constant use of computers and smartphones causes us to look down at screens and is contributing to a hunching posture in many Canadians. It is important to correct these poor postures as early as possible to avoid increased strain on our spine. Here are some tips to improve the usage of your smartphone to avoid increased stress on your neck and upper back. 

What You Can Do:

1. Limit your time on your smartphone. 

Regular breaks are needed.  Make an effort to get off of your phone after 20 minutes and move around

2. Maintain good posture. 

Hunching forward (as we are all guilty of) exacerbates the stress and strain on our neck, upper back, and shoulders.  Using proper ergonomics can go a long way in preventing smartphone-related injuries.  Try to hold your phone higher to reduce the amount of looking down that is needed.  If you have a project or task that is going to take longer, sit or stand comfortably at your computer instead of using your phone.

3. Exercise

Do regular exercise that helps to strengthen and stretch affected areas. Our bodies are made to move! Some technologies, such as Apple Watches and FitBits are even encouraging it. Yoga and Pilates are great examples of exercises to include in your routine that improve mobility in your spine. Ask your chiropractor, physiotherapist, and registered massage therapist for specific exercises to address your area(s) of complaint.

4. Use proper tools

Avoid cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder. We have known not to do this for many years, yet we still are guilty of doing it.  Holding our head and neck in this position is a recipe for neck and upper back pain.  If you must do something else with your hands while on a phone call, then use a wireless headset, Bluetooth, or earbuds to make your calls.

5. Seek help.

If you are experiencing pain and discomfort, talk to your chiropractor, physiotherapist, and/or massage therapist.  Each one of these healthcare providers is skilled in assisting you with repetitive strain injuries from smartphone usage.

Technology has allowed us many opportunities, but there are some drawbacks if not used correctly.  These tips will assist you in using technology to its fullest potential without damage to your body.  If you do experience discomfort when using your technology, be sure to contact our office. You can book an appointment online or call the Glebe Clinic at 613-237-9000 or Byward at 613-869-8600. 

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